One of the oldest sectors in the world is that of the global shipping. Sailing the high seas has been the lifeblood of global commerce for over 500 years. It therefore seems quite fitting that this age old industry is experimenting with the block chain revolution.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has completely the first successful blockchain powered shipping voyage. The trip was from South Korea’s main port of Busan to the Qindao Port in China. In a statement by the company, they claimed that
HMM applied the blockchain technology to this pilot voyage – from shipment booking to cargo delivery – and reviewed the feasibility of adopting the technology into shipping and logistic
Not only did the company use the blockchain to help facilitate the voyage but they also incorporated the technology with the Internet of Things (IoT) such as the reefer containers on the vessel. Inside the reefers, they had censors which were able to give real time monitoring using the blockchain to share that information with all the stakeholders.
The company also went on to talk about the numerous benefits of blockchain technology in logistics businesses. It would allow all the parties to securely share information such as the certificate of origin as well as the relevant customs clearance information. These are usually processes that take a tremendous amount of paperwork. The shipping data will also be extremely safe given the encryption
This pilot operation was completed as a consortium of the Korean ministry of maritime affairs and fisheries, the Korea customs service (KCS), the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), Busan port authority, Korea Marine Transport, HMM and IBM Korea. Now that the pilot has gone off successfully they are considering other voyages to a number of destinations. The company sees lots of opportunity going forward
By adopting the high-end IT technologies such as blockchain and IoT in shipping and logistics, we will become one of the pioneers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution within the industry
The company did not disclose which blockchain they used in order to run the pilot. One can only assume that the involvement of IBM in the project implies that the Hyperledger private blockchain. What is for certain is that this pilot has been a proof of concept for logistics companies and we are certain to see others follow.